Chicago Policy News and Updates
With new executive leadership at both the state and local levels, it has been a busy and exciting 2019 for Enterprise’s policy work. As a member of Mayor Lightfoot’s Housing Transition Committee, Andy Geer, VP and Chicago Market Leader, recommended that Chicago use a racial equity framework to guide the improvement and expansion of key housing policies and plans, and made specific recommendations on how to bring greater efficacy and equity to the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance and the Qualified Allocation Plan. Many of Enterprise's recommendations were highlighted in the final briefing document for Mayor Lightfoot and we look forward to working with the Lightfoot Administration and the new Department of Housing, which will be led by Commissioner Marisa Novara, on bringing them to fruition.
At the state level, we focused our efforts on increasing and maintaining critical resources for the creation and preservation of affordable rental homes. In coalition with many stakeholders and partners, including the Illinois Housing Council and Housing Action Illinois, Enterprise advocated for a significant allocation of capital budget funds for affordable housing. Thanks to our collective efforts, the General Assembly passed a major capital budget – the first since 2009 – which included $200 million for affordable multifamily homes. We estimate that this will be leveraged to invest approximately an additional $1.0 billion over the next five years and will result in the development of approximately 2,000 affordable homes.
We also worked with our partners to ensure that the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund – the state’s primary dedicated resource for affordable housing – remain intact in the final budget agreement, despite an initial proposed sweep of approximately $21.5 million. Finally, we continued our advocacy for property tax relief legislation that would incentivize the creation and preservation of affordable homes in Cook County and other parts of the state (HB2168). While our bill did not pass this session, it had strong support and we will continue working with our partners to pass this legislation.
At the federal level, Enterprise has been hard at work advocating for key improvements to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (Housing Credit), the nation’s largest and most successful tool for financing the production and preservation of affordable rental housing. We were glad to see the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) reintroduced earlier this month and strongly encourage our partners to get involved in the ACTION Campaign, a coalition of more than 2,100 organizations dedicated to expanding and strengthening the Housing Credit, which Enterprise co-leads. Learn more about the new 2019 AHCIA here and about the Housing Credit’s tremendous fiscal and social impact in Illinois here.
Visit www.rentalhousingaction.org for more information about our efforts to expand, strengthen and protect the Housing Credit, and for additional resources, including congressional district-level fact sheets.